JAMES V. FRANCO
The Troy Record
TROY, N.Y. -- The man dragged for miles by a pickup truck Sunday night said he is still friends with the driver and the dispute was over a woman.
Robert Kowalik said he had just gotten out of the hospital Sunday when he ran into an ex-girlfriend at the Stewart's on Congress Street and Fifth Avenue. She was with Seth Scudds and the two offered to take him to his home in Valley Falls.
According to Kowalik, Scudds said he was in a hurry and started to take off when the girlfriend told him to get in the truck so he tossed his gym bag and shirt in the back and got in the cab of the moving vehicle. He said Scudds started arguing and Kowalik called 911 but things calmed down so he didn't request police assistance.
About a mile from the Stewarts, Scudds, who had been arguing, stopped the vehicle and told Kowalik to get in the back. Kowalik jumped in the back and before long Scudds stopped again and told him to get out. He did, but before he could grab his gym bag - which contained medication for an infection - Scudds took off. That's when Kowalik said he tried to grab his gym bag and his shirt got hung up on the side of the pickup.
That's when he called 911 and grabbed onto the truck, figuring it was safer to get dragged than it was to let go considering the high rate of speed Scudds was traveling.
Scudds pulled over again in the Walmart parking lot and that's when Kowalik let go of the truck and Scudds ran over his legs.
Asked how he was able to hang on and stay on the line with the 911 dispatcher through the entire ordeal, Kowalik said "It wasn't easy."
"I was kind of in the bed, out of the bed and hanging on the side of the truck," he said. "I'm a pretty strong guy. I was kind of able to say on my feet through most of it. If I was on the ground I'd probably be dead by now. It didn't take me long to get the hang of it. It was that or die."
He said he and Scudds grew up together and live about a mile apart. "With him being the jealous type he is. If she never met me down there everything would have been fine," he said. "We're great friends. It's not us who started it, it was a woman who started it. He always told me a girl wouldn't come between us but I guess one did."
Hoosick Falls driver
He said his legs are black and blue, his right arm will need a skin graft and the right side of his chest might also. He might have cracked ribs but there is too much bruising and other damage for doctor's to tell at this point in time. He was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital last night after police found him in the Walmart parking lot shortly after 5:30 p.m. He was released this morning.
Scudds, 45, of 60 Simmons Road, Hoosick Falls was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
"It was a nightmare. It was scary. He was acting like a maniac." Kowalik said. "I never want to do that again. The next time I need a ride I think I'll walk or take a bus."